July 9-12 Lake Placid, NY

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag  
I’ve wanted to explore the Adirondacks and Lake Placid area since we arrived in the Finger Lakes seven years ago, but something else has always come up. This year we finally made it there for our 43 anniversary. 

Lake Placid is a village in the Adirondack Mountains that was incorporated in 1900. It was founded in the early 19th century to develop an iron ore mining operation. As leisure time increased in the late 19th century, it became a popular resort for the rich and famous. The area has been a popular winter sporting area as early as 1889, and by 1921 the area boasted a ski jump, speed skating venue and ski association. Lake Placid hosted the 1932 and the 1980 Winter Olympics.

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July 9-12 Lake Placid, NY

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag  
I’ve wanted to explore the Adirondacks and Lake Placid area since we arrived in the Finger Lakes seven years ago, but something else has always come up. This year we finally made it there for our 43 anniversary. 

Lake Placid is a village in the Adirondack Mountains that was incorporated in 1900. It was founded in the early 19th century to develop an iron ore mining operation. As leisure time increased in the late 19th century, it became a popular resort for the rich and famous. The area has been a popular winter sporting area as early as 1889, and by 1921 the area boasted a ski jump, speed skating venue and ski association. Lake Placid hosted the 1932 and the 1980 Winter Olympics.

The Haus is a boutique hotel located in the middle of Main Street in Lake Placid. Located right on the shores of Mirror Lake. Unfortunately our room didn’t have a view of the lake. The building was originally built in 1904.
The Adirondack Park is home to the largest trail system in the nation and offers some of the best hiking in the East with over 2,000 miles of marked hiking trails. Most notable among these are the region’s trails leading to the 46 High Peaks. The name “High Peaks” was given to 46 Adirondack mountains that were higher than 4,000 feet. All but four of these High Peaks are located in the Lake Placid, Keene-Keene Valley area. Adirondack State Park is the country’s largest State Park at six million acres. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t conducive for hiking the high peaks while we were at Lake Placid…thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Beryle. We couldn’t even see the top of the ones around us, so we had to be satisfied with chasing waterfalls. Not a hard thing to find in the Adirondacks. 

The weather and the amount of water in the Ausable River also kept us from visiting the Ausable Chasm. We hiked along the river in several places and could see how raging and angry it was. Hopefully we can hike one of the high peaks and visit Ausable Chasm on our next visit. We definitely need to come back since there are so many beautiful places to see.

Our first day in Lake Placid was beautiful. We enjoyed a nice dinner at The Cottage. We sat outside with a pretty view of the lake and the mountains. After dinner we enjoyed a concert in the park next to our condo.

Looking down the hill to Mirror Lake.
Lake Placid is located on Mirror Lake. The lake is beautiful. It isn’t very deep so it freezes in the winter and the water is a nice temperature in the summer. It’s a wonderful place to canoe, sail, paddleboard and kayak. No gas powered motors are allowed on the lake.
Our dinner view.

The Tuesday night concert in the park. Lots of people came by water.

Our second day was filled with lots of rain. We walked around town popping into the shops when the showers came back. Later in the afternoon we drove up to the Whiteface Mountain Ski Lodge. We hiked the short trail to Stag Brook Falls and then explored the flumes on the Ausable River before it started to pour. We came back the next day to do a bit more exploring and couldn’t believe how the river had changed. The rain overnight had turned the peaceful river into a monster.
Stag Brook Falls
This picture was taken at the bridge going into the ski lodge on Wednesday.
Taken at the same spot on Thursday.
The Wilmington Flumes on Wednesday.
The same flumes on Thursday. If you zoom into the picture above you can see people swimming. They would have been washed away the next day.

Since it was still raining on Thursday morning we visited the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. We also got to walk through the 1932 and 1980 hockey arenas. It was interesting to read and see all the information from the Olympics. Hard to imagine that many people in this small town.

The Olympic Museum and the Herb Brooks Arena (1980 Hockey Arena)
1932 Olympics Hockey Arena

Looking out from the 1932 arena to the Olympic speed skating rink, the Lake Placid High School and the 1980 arena. If you zoom in you can just make out the ski jump at the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. Weather kept us from exploring that too. Maybe next time.

The 1980 hockey arena.

A few of the things we saw at the museum. From top left: Olympic poster, sign in the arena, 1980 Olympic torch, 1932 uniform, 1980 uniform, 1980 gold medal, hockey team equipment, 1980 Olympic cauldron.

Thursday afternoon we had a bit more sun so we went back to the Ausable River to do a little more exploring. It was amazing to see the difference the rain had made. Our first stop was at Wilmington Notch Campground to hike down to the waterfall. The hike was short but steep. What a wonderful place.
There wasn’t a true trail but the woods were so open and beautiful you could hike where ever you wanted.
After hiking to the Wilmington Falls we went back and did another hike near the flumes we saw the day before.
This is the area where we saw people swimming the day before.
The clouds finally cleared enough for us to see the top of Little Whiteface Mountain…just barely.
A small glimpse of the raging river.  

 
The weather didn’t keep us from enjoying some wonderful meals. All came with a nice view of Mirror Lake. The view on Wednesdaay wasn’t quite as nice as the day before, but dinner was wonderful. We ate at Top of the Park. They specialize in small plates and specialty cocktails.

We celebrated our 43rd anniversary at Jimmy’s 21. Another great restaurant on the water. We shared a bowl of lobster bisque, Stan had the Faroe Island Salmon and I had the Lobster Ravioli.


Fun Facts:
  • The Adirondack Park was created in 1892 by the state of New York. Containing six-million acres, the Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States.
  • It covers one-fifth of New York State.
  • 10 Million tourists visit the park each year…that’s twice as many as visit the Grand Canyon.
  • The Adirondacks are within a day’s drive for roughly one-quarter of our country’s population,
  • The Adirondacks Mountains are as large as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and the Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined.
  • Unlike other mountain ranges in a long strip, the Adirondack mountains form a circular dome of mountains.
  • The Park is home to 30,000 miles of rivers and streams and 2,800 lakes and ponds.
  • Over 50% of the park is privately owned.
  • Its most popular destinations for visitors are Old Forge, Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, and beautiful Lake George. (We’ve been to them all).
  • Some of the most iconic animals that live in the Adirondacks include: Moose, Bald Eagle, Common Loon, River Otter, Black Bear, Coyotes, Bobcat, Deer, and Beaver.

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June 24 -29 A Busy Week

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Our busy week started out with a trip to Poe Paddy State Park to do a little biking. The park is on the site of the former lumber town of Poe Mills. Poe Mills was part of the lumber boom that swept through the wooded mountains of Pennsylvania from the mid-to-late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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June 24 -29 A Busy Week

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Our busy week started out with a trip to Poe Paddy State Park to do a little biking. The park is on the site of the former lumber town of Poe Mills. Poe Mills was part of the lumber boom that swept through the wooded mountains of Pennsylvania from the mid-to-late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The bike trail is on an old railroad bed of the Lewisburg and Tyrone Railroad. The trail head starts near the old town of Poe Mills then crosses a footbridge over Penn’s Creek. Just beyond the bridge is a former railroad tunnel carved into the rock face…it’s the main attraction on this trail. As we could feel a cool breeze coming out of the tunnel as we approached. It felt so nice. After the tunnel we continued on the trail for about three miles until it met up with the Mid-State Trail near Cherry Run. From there we returned on the same trail back to our car.  
The footbridge at the beginning of the trail.

The tunnel entrance on the northwestern side near the parking lot. Poe Paddy Tunnel was a railroad tunnel built in the late 1800s and abandoned in the 1970s.

On the southeastern side of the tunnel there are slits that allow bats to enter and exit a totally separate area of the tunnel.

The tunnel was very dark, but my iPhone took a pretty good picture.

There were quite a few boulder fields along the trail.

The trail

We enjoyed our lunch along a little creek in the park.

Our view for lunch.

The view from the road up to Poe Paddy State Park.

On Wednesday The Great Race came through Lewisburg and stopped at the park for lunch. We have boating friends that are in this year’s race, so it was fun to see them and find out more about this event. The Great Race is a classic car rally that involves driving vintage automobiles across the United States. The objective is to arrive at each checkpoint at the correct time, not the fastest. The score for each team is the result of the team’s ability to follow the designated course instructions precisely. Every second off the perfect time (early or late) at each checkpoint is a penalty point. The cars must be at least 45 years old and use original factory parts, and no smart phones, maps or GPSs are allowed. Each team is made up of a driver and a navigator. 


This year’s 9 day race covers 2,300 miles from Owensboro, KY to Gardiner, ME. The racers will travel through 19 cities in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine.

Our friends Barbara and David in their 1973 Volkswagen Thing. This is their second year to participate. 

Each team receives instructions like this about 30 minutes before they are scheduled to leave. No maps, sometimes no name of roads or town…just instructions on where to turn next and how fast to drive. It looked difficult and a bit stressful to me.
These are just a few of the racers we saw. This year there were over 135 teams.
The local antique car club had lots of vehicles around for everyone to see also. It was truly a real event and lots of people turned out to welcome the racers.

On Friday I went to Bloomsburg and picked up Cora. We had a fun evening chasing lightning bugs or are they fireflies. She spent the night and went to the Pennsylvania Lavender Festival with me on Saturday. We enjoyed being together, but the festival left a little to be desired. Lots of craft booths and a few things to eat, but not much of a lavender field.
Sharing ice cream with Poppy.
There were hundreds of fireflies in our yard.

 

June 20 – Penn’s Cave

“Life is not about getting all you want. It’s about enjoying all you have.” -Unknown
Since we’ve been having a heat wave this past week we decided to stay at the house. We have AC on the boat, but the house gives us more space…which is nice when it’s too hot to do anything outside. Hiking and biking aren’t fun when you have to sweat, so the best place to visit when it’s hot is a cave. 

Penn’s Cave has been a popular tourist attraction for almost 140 years. It’s located in Centre Hall, which is just a short drive from our house. The cave was formed over millions of years by subterranean groundwater that dissolved limestone. The groundwater, which is the source of Penn’s Creek, covers the bottom of the cave to depths between 3-5 feet. 

Visitors tour the 1,300-foot-long, water-filled cave by flat-bottom boats. The cave’s temperature stays at 52º year-round with water temperature at 38º…making it a great place to be when it’s in the 90s outside. In addition to the guided 50-minute boat tours, visitors can go on a nature and wildlife tour, navigate a miner’s maze, and pan for gemstones. Too hot for any of that the day we were there. 

At the end of the cavern, we exited onto Lake Nitanee and into a blast of hot, humid air. It was like hitting a wall. The guide informed us about how the end of the cavern was dug out and the lake made to use it for electrical power. We saw lots of elk cooling themselves down on the edge of the lake. After a short tour of the lake we turned back toward the cavern. Even before we entered, I could feel the cool air emanating from the opening.

The cave was first used by the Seneca Indians for shelter. The earliest record of ownership is traced to James Poe in 1773. It changed hands several times before Jesse and Samuel Long took over the property in 1885. They were the first to promote the cave as a tourist attraction. They had the hotel built to accommodate visitors, which was used until the 1900’s.

Penn’s Cave and Penn’s Cave House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Penn’s Cave is currently the only Pennsylvania cave on the registry.

The visitor center

Geologists estimate that Penn’s Cave’s formations originated more than 30 million years ago.

The entrance to the cave.

The boats

Looking back at the entrance of the cave.

The cave

The light at the end of the tunnel…the entrance to Lake Nitanee.

Some of the elk in the wildlife preserve.

Going back into the cave. The water was a little murky since we’ve had some heavy rain lately. We were told it is usually very clear and you could see the bottom.

Another boat doing the cave tour.

The valley that Penn’s Cave is located in is beautiful. It’s full of Amish farms that have been unchanged for nearly two centuries. 

June 20 – Penn’s Cave

“Life is not about getting all you want. It’s about enjoying all you have.” -Unknown
Since we’ve been having a heat wave this past week we decided to stay at the house. We have AC on the boat, but the house gives us more space…which is nice when it’s too hot to do anything outside. Hiking and biking aren’t fun when you have to sweat, so the best place to visit when it’s hot is a cave. 

Penn’s Cave has been a popular tourist attraction for almost 140 years. It’s located in Centre Hall, which is just a short drive from our house. The cave was formed over millions of years by subterranean groundwater that dissolved limestone. The groundwater, which is the source of Penn’s Creek, covers the bottom of the cave to depths between 3-5 feet. 

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June 8-14 Sheldrake House

“There is only one success…to be able to spend your life in your own way.” -Christopher Morley
We love the Sheldrake area of Cayuga Lake. It’s the perfect place for a little vacation or just an afternoon picnic. The area provides houses with lots of open yards and easy access to the lake. For these reasons we decided to go back to a house we stayed in last summer for our first family vacation of 2024. Kyle and his family decided to come for a week this time…more time to play, relax and enjoy life. We really don’t do anything very exciting when we’re together on the lake. We just spend time making wonderful memories, eating good food and taking it easy. 

The weather could have been a bit warmer for swimming and boating, but we did have a few days to take in those activities. This week the temperatures are in the high 90s throughout the Finger Lake, so last week’s cooler weather was much better. We had time to hike, eat, paint, eat, play games, eat, ride bikes, eat, explore, eat and enjoy each other’s company. We even had one very fun day on the runabout.

We always have time to kill the first day before we can check in…this time we had lunch at the Ithaca Beer Co. and then rode bikes around the marina.
This house is perfect for us.

The boathouse, dock and beach are a lot of fun.
The best part of this house is all the outside space. Lots of room for the kids to play, ride bikes and use their scooters.

The living spaces.

Where all the great food is created.

The bedrooms.

Enjoying the yard.

Cora gave up her training wheels on this vacation. The best place to learn to ride without them is a grassy hill. She did amazing.

The kids had a great time riding their scooter and bikes.

Even the rain couldn’t dampen the fun.

Just a bit of the wonderful food we enjoyed this week.

Kyle is the head chef, Brytanie, the kids and I are the sous chefs and Stan is the lead dishwasher….we do help him a bit.

We spent a lot of time creating art. When the weather was nice we painted outside. The view was amazing.

Some of the beautiful rocks that were painted this week.

One morning we hiked to Taughannock Falls. Everyone but Brytanie had been here before, but it is a favorite of ours.

It’s an easy hike with a great payoff at the end.

Playing in and along the water was a lot of fun. Water temperature is about 63º so the wetsuits felt good.

We went to lunch at the Finger Lake Cider House one day. Good cider, good food, things for the kids to play with and we even got to pick fresh strawberries from the field.

One of the highlights of our time together in the summer is a campfire. How could we find a better place to enjoy our time together?

But a lake vacation is about the lake…right? So we love when we can get out on the water. Everyone enjoyed riding on the inner tube.

Especially Graham

The view from this house is wonderful…day or night.

June 8-14 Sheldrake House

“There is only one success…to be able to spend your life in your own way.” -Christopher Morley
We love the Sheldrake area of Cayuga Lake. It’s the perfect place for a little vacation or just an afternoon picnic. The area provides houses with lots of open yards and easy access to the lake. For these reasons we decided to go back to a house we stayed in last summer for our first family vacation of 2024. Kyle and his family decided to come for a week this time…more time to play, relax and enjoy life. We really don’t do anything very exciting when we’re together on the lake. We just spend time making wonderful memories, eating good food and taking it easy. 

CONTINUE READING HERE…»